1. Opinion

A scheduled execution troubles Tampa Bay Catholics

Here’s what readers had to say in Tuesday’s letters to the editor.
James Dailey, right, during his 1987 trial in Pinellas County for the murder of a 14-year-old girl, Shelly Baggio. [Tampa Bay Times]
Published Oct. 7

Troubled by the coming execution

Death awaits; doubts linger | Oct. 6

As Catholics, we are deeply troubled by the scheduled Nov. 7 execution of James Dailey. For people of faith and others of good will, it is shocking that Gov. Ron DeSantis plans to put to death a man who may well be innocent. Mr. Dailey is a veteran, like the governor, and he honorably served our country during three tours in Vietnam and one in Korea. At a minimum, we owe him a thorough review of his case before making an irreversible mistake.

The man who originally implicated Dailey confessed to the same crime and is serving a life sentence for it. This other man has since said, multiple times, that he acted alone and that Mr. Dailey is innocent. The case against Mr. Dailey was entirely circumstantial with no eyewitnesses and no physical evidence connecting him to the crime. The prosecutor convicted Mr. Dailey with the uncorroborated testimony of “jailhouse snitches” who were given plea deals in exchange for their cooperation.

The family of Shelly Boggio suffered an unimaginable loss, and Floridians should pray for their healing and an easing of their pain. Taking another life, especially an innocent one, will only compound this tragedy.

Having a culture of life in our state means holding life at all stages sacred, from conception through natural death. Gov. DeSantis should search his heart and do the right thing by withdrawing the death warrant in Mr. Dailey’s case. There is too much doubt to proceed with this execution.

The Rev. Robert Schneider and Sabrina Burton Schultz, St. Petersburg

The writers are members of the Life, Justice and Advocacy Committee of the Catholic Diocese of St. Petersburg.

To honor veterans, vote

Honor the veterans who are with us | Editorial, Oct. 5

The Hillsborough Veterans Council conducts ceremonies to honor the fallen from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

I retired from the Army after 36 years, so your recent editorial regarding honoring the veterans who are with us interested me. You listed four ways to do that. The first three are ways to help veterans in need. These are very important and they are much needed to help veterans in need. Your fourth suggestion applies to all veterans. I would like to suggest a fifth way that also applies to all veterans. When a person enlists in the military, they take an oath to defend the Constitution. Exercising your rights is a way to thank and honor veterans. Voting is a good way to honor and thank veterans. It shows us our time defending this right was worth it. You only have to vote once every two years. So please vote and show us you appreciate our defending this right. Thank you.

Russ A. Johnson, Hudson

What happened to Rubio?

Rubio on Trump’s call on China: not serious | Oct. 5

U.S. Senator Marco Rubio, R-Fla.

What happened to one-time presidential candidate Marco Rubio, the man who saw a “con artist” in Donald Trump? What happened to the man who said Trump was “dangerous” and unqualified to control the nation’s nuclear codes? Who was that impersonator this weekend who said Trump’s China remarks were not a “real request”? And again who said: “I think he did it to gig you guys. I think he did to provoke you to ask me and others and get outraged by it”? Does Rubio think Trump is just joking? Nobody was laughing on the White House lawn on Friday. Again, I ask, what happened to Marco Rubio?

Peter Barton, St. Petersburg


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    Don’t wall ourselves off from contradictory opinions, writes Leonard Pitts.
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